It’s been awhile since I posted. In that time I have done a lot of things. I got married. I worked a Renaissance Faire. I went on my honeymoon to Waikiki (lovely place, try it sometimes, bring sunscreen). So, Jeanie and Dystopia Rising both got put on the back burner for awhile. But they’re back. I’m back to playing. And I’m back to writing things that are going on in Jeanie’s life. So, if you like the story, check out Dystopia Rising and any other work by Eschaton Media. Also, remember that while Jeanie is my original character, the other characters and locations are property of the people who created them (not me). And yes, when I write a story with/about other characters, I have the permission of the others involved and work closely with them to make sure it is true to their characters as well. Enjoy the story.
Trigger Warning – Descriptive drug use,
She couldn’t stop shaking.
“If I drop, keep going. I can take it. Just get in and get out. Don’t worry about me.”
“Natasha’s gone. Just go. GO!”
Why did it bother her so much that Natasha died? She’s a Pure Blood. A fucking prissy rich and manipulative Pure Blood. All of them are manipulative. Doesn’t matter that Jeanie can’t figure out what Natasha’s ulterior motive is, she has one. She should be glad that Natasha got pulled under by the River Hunters.
But she’s not.
“Charles, I’m sorry. The River Hunters got Natasha. They pulled her under. She didn’t come back up. I know you wanted to be there for her. I know. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”
Jeanie sat down on a log at the firepit with a groan before gripping her stomach. She took a deep breath and tried to will her hands to stop shaking. They wouldn’t stop. She wiped the sweat from her brow. Why won’t she stop shaking? Just fucking stop shaking, damn it!
Deep breath. Take a deep breath in. Slowly. Now let it out. In. Out.
“Tri, I saw it happen. They pulled her off the boat and dragged her under. She didn’t come back up.”
The Iron grabbed her head. Rocking back and forth. “I don’t care. I don’t care. She’s just a stupid Pure Blood. I don’t care. I don’t care. Why the fuck do I care?”
Jeanie punched both hands down into the dirt at her feet. Her fingers splayed out before gripping the soil and balling her hands into fists. “Fuck this shit. I need to calm down.”
She grabbed her brown bag and started rummaging through the pockets. Her fingers frantically dug into each pocket before hurrying to the next. Then, her fingers wrapped around a glass vial.
The Iron stopped shaking. Slowly, she pulled the vial out of the bag and stared at the familiar milky white liquid inside. This would calm her down. Put her emotions in check. Keep her from freaking out over a stupid Pure Blood, one who succeeded in manipulating Jeanie into caring. Rich bitch. Her hand slid into the back and pulled out a small scrap box. Practiced hands popped off the lid and dropped the contents onto her lap. Empty syringe. Small needle in an old world pill bottle to keep it from breaking. Get the needle out of the pill bottle, twist into place on the end of the syringe. Open the vial, slide needle inside. Pull up plunger of syringe to fill the syringe with Milk.
Jeanie shut her eyes for a moment and let some of the tension release from her shoulders. She opened her eyes and glanced down at her left forearm, covered in black ink. She glanced above the anchor to the crook of her elbow. A few visible blue veins. She didn’t stop to think as she lined the end of the needle up to the blue vein, pierced the needle into her skin and pressed down on the plunger.
The Iron’s eyes closed and she let out a deep breath. Her body relaxed and the stress from before disappeared. She let the feeling wash over her for a moment before sliding the needle out and dropping it onto the ground in front of her. No more shaking. No more worrying over Natasha. Just calm.
She smiled when she heard bells. Caleb was always good company.
The bells stopped and there was a moment of silence. “Why?”
“Why what?” Jeanie opened her eyes and glanced over to where Caleb stood at the end of the log. He was glaring.
“Why did you need to use?” His paws balled into fists.
“I couldn’t think clearly.”
“What about her? She wouldn’t tell you to take milk.” He shouts out. His paws unclench and then curl back into fists. Something was wrong. He’s not okay.
“She died. I watched it happen. And it bothered me. A lot.”
Caleb rolled his eyes and threw his hands up. “Even if it wasn’t her end,” he yells and grabs the syringe off the ground showing it to Jeanie, “you shouldn’t be doing this!”
“I shouldn’t think logically? I should let emotion cloud my thoughts?”
“Use fucking drugs because she died.” Caleb tosses the syringe to her feet. “You’ve seen deaths before.”
Jeanie shook her head. “No, I haven’t. They’ve always been saved, or out of sight, or awful… and… that’s not… her… anymore…”
“So, you’re destroying yourself for liking her?” He starts pulling his weapons out and tossing them to the ground. “What is your problem with liking her?” he shouts.
“She’s a Pure Blood,” Jeanie comments. “She’s supposed to be manipulative and doing everything for her own gain. She’s supposed to be like every other one. I’m not supposed to like her because she’s supposed to fit the data.”
“Your data is wrong!” Caleb shouts and turns to look at the flames for a moment before turning back to Jeanie. “Stop acting like you know everything when there is proof in front of your damn face that you’re wrong!”
Jeanie shrugs. “I can’t figure it out. I don’t understand why she doesn’t make sense. Why it bothers me. It shouldn’t. But it does and I can’t stop seeing her die and I can’t figure out why it bothers me.”
Caleb throws his arms up. “Because you can’t get over the fact that you like her. You only see her as a pure blood, not a person, like how she sees you.”
“I see pure bloods the same way you see the pack. How would you feel if you started liking one of them?”
“There’s a difference between seeing people that made a choice to harm me and seeing an entire strain that way.”
“Welcome to Motor City, where Pure Bloods rule over everything and decide everyone’s life.”
“Stop acting like you’re in Motor City. You’re safer here. You keep acting like you’re there and this place will become the same.”
“I’m not safer here! I’ve ended up in chains in multiple times since then.”
“I don’t see chains on you now,” he screams.
Jeanie grabs the syringe and hands it to the Ascensorite. “Mother’s milk is one of the ways you enslave an Iron.”
“You are being a slave to no one but yourself. You need to fight your weakness.”
Jeanie shrugged. “Well, I’m sorry. I failed.”
“Don’t be sorry,” Caleb growls. “Adapt! Evolve!”
“Maybe I’m doing everything I can! Maybe I’m afraid that I’m stagnant and will never be anything else.”
“Then distance yourself without drugs and try again.” He unclips the collar on his neck and throws it down to her feet. “The collar is dead. My blades fall apart by next summer. It’s a distraction. Work on it. Hit it. Think about Natasha again when you calm down.”
“I can’t just stop.”
He rolls his eyes. “I can only do so much. I’m only a fighter.”
Jeanie turns to look at Caleb. “And I’m only an Iron who got forced into craving something. Okay, I’ll work on something else,” she grabs the collar,” just like every other Iron who fights it. I’m not working for more, so I guess I’ll just shake and puke instead.”
“Get a shakeys.” He tosses his arms into the air and growls. He grabs his blades and turns to walk off muttering, “I just don’t get it.”
Jeanie sighs and stares down at the broken collar and the syringe at her feet.
“And I don’t know how to explain it.”